Young people living in big cities, from birth, got used to the constantly surrounding noise of cars, snowplows, the rustle of trolleybuses and the screeching of trams. Not surprisingly, public and personal transport are perceived by "metropolitan dandies" as an integral part of life. All the more strange are for them the empty streets of deaf district centers and half-forgotten villages, where, at best, once a day, the still alive Zaporozhets will rattle, or a small tractor, will hobble. In such places, it seems that people do not need vehicles at all and they are exclusive luxury items.
Meanwhile, the provincials in their way love wheeled vehicles - their preferences are just biased in favor of the practical application of the wonders of technology. To get acquainted with the way of thinking of the peasant and his attitude to the self-propelled constructions will be useful to all narcissistic townspeople who consider the car to be the invincible "king of the highway". Indeed, rural residents almost always use technical aids on the farm. Let them be the simplest, smallest and cheapest, even in a single copy - but you will find some two-wheeled tractor in the shed of the old peasant. He will squeeze out all the juices from this child of progress. Then he will take it to the district center and at a discount for veterans of labor will repair in a pompous car-care center, where he bought his amazing for the city dweller unit five years ago. The lifetime of this micro super tractor has already long expired, but the gallant grandfather will again go to the district center and order a familiar miller with whom he sat in school at one desk forty years ago, to produce twenty-six new parts, and will pay for work with a bag of potatoes and two turkeys.
Rural teenagers in all take the example from the elders and therefore do not imagine life without a motorcycle. Its acquisition is just as an obligatory life-mark, as well as marriage. Particularly zealous motorcycle lovers buy themselves an old half-ruined Jawa already by the age of 16, and, after killing half a year for repairs, with a wild crash and very busy appearance, they regularly travel all the streets of their native village. When the rural bikers get tired of simply scaring old women and dispersing stupid chickens, they will repaint dirty-brown-crimson gasoline tank in a flashy white color and through the stencil will put on it a black skull. Having enjoyed alteration and tuning of the already terrible motorcycle by the age of 18, the gallant lad solemnly sells his warhorse to another impudent youth who is eager to make a strong impression on the girl living next door. In the army, the former biker will tell his fellow soldiers for a long time how gallantly he drove through the village, and to the boring real facts, he will add a few freshly invented romantic episodes, into which he will willingly believe. Of course, a motorcycle in a village is always needed, as well as a motor cultivator. But in the district center, neither one nor the other took root. The first is too bulky and powerful, and the second does not justify the money spent on it if you use a cultivator on a small plot of land near the house. That is why residents of small towns always and everywhere prefer to use mopeds. There is nothing better than this chattering grasshopper to go to the sea, to the garden, to get water or go fishing at the other end of the city. A relatively small moped, compared to a motorcycle, is equally popular among old people and adult men, and, of course, teenagers.
Old people ride a moped mainly on fishing, tying to its frame all that can and cannot be: a shovel, fishing rods, oars. On the trunk "toilers of the sea" manage to put buckets and bags, and on their own back, they also carry a rubber boat in a huge backpack.
Fathers of families use a moped mainly for traveling around the town. They can often be seen on the outskirts, with buzzing moving towards the winery farm, a tractor plant or a bus station. Not considering a moped a workhorse and draft power, urgently needed in the household, they do not take care of it at all and squeeze out all possible turns from their recently purchased Carpathy. Sometimes the piercing squealing of their cylinders even drowns out the growl of the Volgas rushing by and the chirrup of fussy Zhiguli. It is not often necessary to repair a new moped, but the fathers try to eliminate rare breakages on their own. Without a shadow of a doubt, they would have paid for the repair of a moped to a car service center, but they are not ready to sacrifice the pleasure that delivers their fussing with the spare parts and "little hoses" that they have long studied in every detail. Young people over twenty years of age use Verkhovyna only for chic. It is considered a special luxury for them to drive up a moped to the doors of the wrestling section, and after training to drive on it, shiny with fresh factory enamel, a friend to the house. Constantly imagining that sometime - very soon - Verkhovyna will grow into a second-hand Zhigul, the guys are very reluctant to part with their two-wheeled friend and, having bought a car, prefer to keep their favorite moped in the garage to the state of falling apart.
Finally, the most reckless moped fans in the district centers are the young people of school age. Happy boys, already satisfied with the fact of acquisition, they never get the desired wreck in the acting form. With grief in half fixing it with the help of craftsmen from the neighboring yard, urchins at the first signs of ignition sit down on the creaking junk and bravo go to the sea - that is, to a semi-wild beach. Of course, there can be no question of any brakes for such antiquity that has risen from the dust. Approaching the goal of the journey, juvenile marginals simply yank out the spark plug from the motor to turn it off, and in front of the surprised resting people further brake together with soles of the sneakers. All ingenious is simple, how can one not agree with this statement after such a spectacle?
May 26, 2001, in the Moscow American Bar and Grill, near the Taganka Theatre, the official opening of the motorcycle season for Moscow fans of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle brand took place. I must say that fans of these iron horses make a powerful impression even without their favorite two-wheeled dinosaurs. I got to the holiday closer to its middle, when the meeting of bikers was a joyfully screaming tribe of aborigines overexcited from the vapors of alcohol, pulled in leather jackets and hung with iron chains.
Having dodged twice from fat bikers falling from the stage, I saw that there was an erotic show in full swing, during which dance girls were kicking one of their stage friends. Perhaps they argued who of them was prettier. After the frenzied little dressed belligerent dancers proudly left the stage to the screams of the bikers whom they brought to wild delight, the tough rave subsided and next to the new Harley put on display, musicians in cowboy hats appeared who were more habitual for bikers’ cultural tradition. They sang something in English and played rockabilly of the fifties.
The audience immediately switched to ruthless to itself dances. Fans of American motorcycles rubbed the wooden flooring of the stage with the socks of Cossack boots in such a way that I was surprised that they did not make a hole. One young biker with waist-overlong hair said something to friends and hold a two-liter mug of beer, more like a bucket with a handle on the side. And that’s not all - he also sipped from it every 15 seconds. How this could happen at the same time given the constantly speeding up rhythm of rock-and-roll, I do not understand.
The hoarse vocalist from the Time Out band fired all this mess, as it seemed to me. At least the face and voice were similar to one of those "motologs", as time-outers prefer to call themselves. The motolog constantly demanded more visible expression of emotions from bikers and even himself jumped several times with a microphone in his hand, like Fidel Castro at an anti-American rally of Cubans. Some bikers were already falling, but they were picked up and "turned on into music" again. At this moment, not far from the stage, I saw Surgeon, the leader of one of the biker associations, whom I recognized from photographs in the press. As I wrote in an unreleased article, the harsh features of his face spoke of the difficult life of the motorcycling romance adherents. Surgeon spoke about something with another biker and wrote down on the sheet of paper for him probably, some address. Immediately the chronicler approached with a huge video camera and directed the beam of its flashlight directly into the Surgeon's face. Although such a bright light blinded his eyes greatly in the deepening dusk, he continued to write as if nothing had happened.In the rays of the camera on the neck of Surgeon, a tattoo in the form of arrows of wolf hair was identified. Then he walked away and talked with a tall red-haired young lady-biker for about fifteen minutes. Under the skirts of her black leather jacket, the iron inserts of a wide belt glittered.
Soon, a cake made in the form of a Harley-Davidson twin-cylinder engine was brought in a large van. The cooks barely carried this structure through the crowds of bikers to the stage, and everyone understood that the time had come for dessert. It should be noted that despite the stormy temper, fans of an American motorcycle almost culturally distributed slices of cake. True, at first I couldn't reach it because of someone's wide black leather back, and therefore had to make my way to a treat from the other side of the table. The cake was delicious and sweet with apple filling, chocolate icing, and white cream inside. But the height of the chunk turned out to be rather big, and grasping greed turned into a glut. Leaving the Bar and Grill, I saw the guests of the festival, who were going home, getting on a motorcycle. Then I remembered that immediately upon arrival I examined the quaintly painted Harleys in the parking lot of the bar. Red hieroglyphs, scary dragons, and some landscapes were applied to their gas tanks.
I can talk for a long time about that event, especially since I did not mention a tenth of my impressions. For example, from a cheerful middle-aged lady, constantly and with a wide smile on her face smoking a pipe, and from terrible and very low fireworks, which miraculously did not set fire to the entire restaurant.
Summarizing what was seen and heard at this event, I can conclude, that despite not the very young age of many Harley-Davidson fans, they know how to have fun. At the same time, Harley fans could well open their motorcycle season even at the beginning of March, because a huge and powerful like a tractor American motorcycle can easily overcome urban snowdrifts, ice, and deep puddles.